Radicals And FLOSS

The word, “radical”, has been in the news a lot lately. Often it’s associated with some bad news like problems caused by radical this that or the other.“you must let the other person decide whether she thinks you are a “radical” or not. In other words, if you say you are a “radical” from the beginning, it will probably induce the other person to a pre-judgement about you, which is not good for you and for her.” I have to come to the defence of the word. There are two edges to a normal distribution of behaviours, extremely good or extremely bad. Both are radical. Take sports, for example. Many “heroes” of generations of good citizens are “radical” in their approaches to sports, going to extremes of practice, excellence, endurance, pain, … Few but their physicians and lawyers claim it’s a bad thing. It’s widely held as an example of going above and beyond the call of duty. Same with soldiers. One might get a bulk “campaign medal” for being ordinary, but it’s the extremist who gets the real medals, posthumously or not.

So, radical islamists are not necessarily bad people. They may pray a lot more than the rest of us or go to school longer or memorize some really long book, but that’s not bad at all, just extreme. The terrorists/murdering scum are extremely bad whether or not they are “radical”.

So it goes with FLOSS. Those of us who go outside the mainstream in adhering to principles of FLOSS or promoting it are radical but that’s not a bad thing. Usually, change is fostered by someone who thinks/acts “outside the box”. That the world rapidly accepted FLOSS on servers and is slowly accepting FLOSS on client computers suggests that being a radical FLOSSie is not a bad thing. We just go places before others.

Those who complain that we are nuts just because they don’t do FLOSS are out to lunch. They are on the back end of the distribution, falling into anachronism or paddling hard to catch up. I notice many places in the world have a lot of us radicals: Reunion, Uruguay, and Ethiopia. Even huge markets like Europe have gone far beyond ~1% in GNU/Linux page-views. So has USA, home of M$ and many “partners”. I don’t think 1 or 2% of the population of Earth can be “too radical” or radical in the bad sense. FLOSS is mainstream and growing rapidly.

See The GNU Radical.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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One Response to Radicals And FLOSS

  1. DrLoser says:

    Did you even read your cite, Robert?

    Because “Sergio” doesn’t remotely correspond to your ideal of a “Gnu radical,” as far as I can see. And as for

    So, radical islamists are not necessarily bad people. They may pray a lot more than the rest of us or go to school longer or memorize some really long book, but that’s not bad at all, just extreme.

    I’m going to be polite here and point out that nobody considers “praying a lot” … incidentally, my understanding that this is the bog-standard five times a day … and “memorizing some really long book” … incidentally, in what is generally speaking a foreign language, ie Classical Arabic … and somehow you managed to omit both the Hadiths and any mention of the teachings of al-Wahhab

    Actually, I’ll stop right there. Everything you postulated in your OP is fatuous and self-deceiving blind nonsense, Robert.

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